Researchers discover particle which could « cool the planet »


In a breakthrough paper published in Science, researchers from The University of Manchester, The University of Bristol and Sandia National Laboratories report the potentially revolutionary effects of Criegee biradicals. These invisible chemical intermediates are powerful oxidisers of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, produced by combustion, and can naturally clean up the atmosphere.


Although these chemical intermediates were hypothesised in the 1950s, it is only recently that they have been detected. Scientists now believe that, with further research, these species could play a major role in off-setting climate change.

« What they found in doing so, we’re told, is quite promising. Criegee biradicals react more rapidly than researchers previously thought they could with aforementioned pollutants like nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, leaving behind nitrate and sulfate that lead to aerosol formation and eventually cloud formation. »

Ultimately, Criegee biradicals could help cool the planet.

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